Wine tastes at its best when it is aged and is curated according to one’s tastes. Curating or aging wine during storage is possible only with the help of a wine fridge. When wine is aged optimally at a perfect temperature, it can last for decades and even centuries and will grow in both value and quality. Merely keeping the bottle of wine in the wine fridge is not aging, and it should be done by following certain tips and tricks. Let us discuss the process of aging wine gracefully with the help of a wine fridge.
Understanding What to Age
Before discussing how to age wine to make high quality and tasty drink, it is imperative to learn what to age. Many of the wines that are available in the market are not meant for aging and are best when consumed fresh and young. These drinks are to be consumed within a year of their release and thus it is important to do the research and not waste a wine bottle that is to be consumed young, by aging it in the wine fridge. Big a flavored Bordeaux and Cabernets type of wine will benefit from aging, as the tannins in them get softened over time. Various types of dessert wines and vintage Ports are also good for aging. White wines, vermouth, Roses, etc., do not require aging.
Tips to Age Wine in a Wine Fridge
Wine tends to deteriorate the moment we open its cork, even when it is placed in the cellar appropriately. Storing wine and maturing it properly is an art and when done perfectly, it will be possible to enjoy the perfectly matured and aged wine. It is important to control the condition of wine storage and follow these tips to age it appropriately.
1. Maintain the proper temperature in the wine fridge
Temperature is the most important condition that has to be regulated to age wine optimally. Both warm and cold temperatures could spoil the wine and the ideal temperature for wine storage is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit or 13 degrees Celsius. This temperature can vary from one wine to another, but regardless of the label, never keep wine below 25 degrees Fahrenheit as it can allow it to freeze, nor increase the temperature above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, as it can propagate the aging process and destroy the volatile components in it. Maintain the wine storage temperature to be as stable as possible and prevent temperature fluctuations as it can allow air to seep it and destroy its components.
2. Keep the wine bottles horizontally
Wine is best kept horizontally with its cork in the wine racks of the wine cooler. This will help in keeping the cork of the bottle moist and it is also key for long-term storage. Bottles with dried cork can cause premature aging and seepage. Horizontal storage is also an efficient way to maximize space in the wine cooler and also to help with easier access.
3. Prevent light and keep it dark
Most of the wine coolers have doors made of tinted glass to prevent UV rays from seeping into the appliance. Wine should also be aged in darkness, as light can trigger oxidization and alter the natural aging process of wine. It can also result in discolorization and can leave a bad smell in the wine. The best way to prevent light is to keep the wine fridge in a place that receives little light, preferably under the counter. When too much light touches the wine bottles, it can lead to undesirable chemical reactions in the wine and make it smell fishy or rotten.
4. Prevent wine from receiving too many vibrations
Vibrations are the number one enemy for wine and that is the main reason why we discourage storing and aging wine in the regular refrigerator. Make sure that your wine fridge is kept away from other appliances that can create vibrations such as the washing machine, stereo system, treadmills, other exercise systems, etc. Strong vibrations can disturb the sediments in the bottle of wine and also disturb the delicate process that aids the win to age appropriately.
5. Concentrate on humidity
Make sure that the wine fridge that you choose to age the wine has an appropriate humidity level as the extremes of humidity in the wine cellar can impact the longevity of the wine. When the humidity level is low, the cork can dry out and thus leaving the wine to the effects of oxygen. When the humidity levels are higher, it can cause the labels to peel off the bottles and give an inappropriate look at the bottle among the guests. Ideally, the humidity in the wine cellar should be between 60 and 68 percent to help age wine gracefully.
6. Storing and aging opened wine bottles
Though it becomes easy to age a full wine bottle in the wine fridge, maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity levels, storing opening wine bottles, and helping them age appropriately becomes a matter of question. An opened bottle of wine can last for about 3 to 5 days if it is stored properly. To extend the shelf life of the opened wine bottle and to retain its properties, it is mandatory to recork it tightly and properly. The best method to recork the wine to store is to place wax paper around the cork and keep it horizontally in its original position in the wine fridge.
This wax will keep the cork at the top and also makes sure that the stray parts of the cork will not fall back into the bottle of wine. If the cork of the bottle has been discarded or has been splintered and recorking is not possible, then a rubber wine stopper can make an ideal replacement. Yet another strategy is to use a wine vacuum pump that helps to suck the air out of the open bottle, helping to create a near airtight seal.
7. Storing and serving different types of wine
Apart from storing wine, it is important to serve them at the prescribed temperature. Allow the wine bottles to come to the proper serving temperature to ensure complete expression of the wine’s aroma and flavor. Red wine should be chilled below room temperatures at around 12 to 19 degrees Celsius. White wine should be served colder than red wine but it should not be kept at a very low temperature as it can affect the aroma of the wine. Champagne should be served coldest at around 5 to 8 degrees Celsius. The wine fridge will be able to maintain all these temperature requirements appropriately to help age and serve wine in its best fit taste.
Check out: Best Dual Zone Wine Coolers & Fridges
The most efficient way to store and age wine is by sticking it in a cave or cellar. It is not possible to do them practically in every household and the wine Fridge serves as an exceptional electrical replacement for the cellar and the caves. These appliances behave like refrigerators and offer excellent control over the humidity and temperature conditions. These appliances have multiple freestanding racks that glide smoothly to store wine without disturbing them. Thus, by investing in the best wine cooler, you can create aged wine with exceptional quality.